SCRUBS AND SUBMISSION

I have been a nurse since 1993. I enjoy a great many aspects of my chosen career. But alas, there has been one issue which has plagued me since I started nursing.

I hate scrubs.

The hate started when I worked for a hospital. That hospital forced all of the nurses to wear ugly white unisex scrubs. The problem was that after the first wash they were never really white again. They were an ugly, dingy, ghetto white.

After I quit that job I remember looking at those horrible scrubs hanging on my laundry room door and saying, “I don’t care what I have to do, or where I have to work, but one thing I can tell you is that I will NEVER. EVER wear something that ugly again in my life.”

I transitioned into home health from the hospital and most companies let me wear my own clothes. I took that freedom to the absolute limit. I would not only wear nice clothes to my patient’s houses but I would also accessorize each and every outfit. My patients enjoyed my fashion sense and I enjoyed dressing up for them.

Recently the company I work for asked me to wear scrubs. I understood why they wanted it but really, was it necessary?

It was necessary because I was doing home health out of several facilities and I needed to be set apart. I told the marketing director who broke the news to me that “I don’t do ugly,” but I would submit to her request and go get some scrubs.

I sorted through racks and racks of scrubs and picked out some royal blue ones. Royal blue is the signature color of my company. I not only picked out a pretty shade of blue but the fabric blend on my scrubs feels like silk. Actually it is difficult for me to pull them off at the end of the day. I adore these scrubs more than any other item in my fashionable closet.

It took a spirit of submission for me to succumb to something I had once hated. In the same way I have learned to submit to my heavenly Father in new ways. I have learned to live in accordance with His word.

It is interesting the response I have received from some of the men I have dated. I have been told that my vow of celibacy was a psychological problem. One man said that other women had told him that my decision to keep our relationship sexually pure was just wrong.

I realize that my act of submission to God’s laws is a way of setting me apart from the masses. For if we as Christians are no different from those who do not know God, how are people to know we are different?

I don’t do this in arrogance but rather humility because it took me so very long to come to this path. There are times when I yearn for the garment of promiscuity which used to clothe me. Yet the garment of righteousness is one which comforts me and gives me clarity of thought. The rags of promiscuity not only broke my heart but also the heart of others.

It is interesting that the color of the scrubs is royal blue, yet the garment of righteousness is worn only by a daughter of the most high King. I have shed the rags of promiscuity for a garment of righteousness. Which garment are you wearing today?

ADVICE

My mother is one of those mothers who is always giving advice to her children. That used to drive me crazy. Because if you don’t know how to give advice the right way it can be misconstrued as an insult.

On Thanksgiving I was talking to my son in Florida and he started giving me advice. I started to defend myself but he told me he wanted to talk without me interrupting. So I stopped and I listened. He told me I tended to exaggerate things when I thought someone had done me wrong.

I thought about that for a bit and I realized he was right. I do tend to exaggerate things when I play the victim role. That is a character trait which I have gotten from my mother. It is something which I need to stop because it blocks God from bestowing blessings on me in the midst of trials.

When I exaggerate I am giving in to doubt and fear. Making things much worse in my mind than they are in reality. I have pulled back from God at that time and given in to remorse and despair. I have failed to believe that “all things work together for good.”

I hurt myself more than anyone when I do this. Because I make things much worse in my mind and my spirit than they really are.

The conversation expanded and we began to discuss our dating relationships. He confessed that he had quite a few young women who were interested in him but he didn’t feel the same towards them. I have felt that way many times in my life. The difficult aspect of being in this position is that you are bound to hurt someone and neither my son or I enjoy doing that.

I told him that sometimes locking a door to someone is the kindest thing to do. It hurts the other person initially but to pretend to love someone just because they love you is never a wise act to play.

We talked for over an hour and I gained so much wisdom from the conversation. Although this son could not partake in our wonderful Thanksgiving dinner because he was in Florida, I felt as if the conversation with him was as satisfying as the meal.

It takes a lot of humility to take advice from a child. It also takes mutual respect. I sometimes wonder how different my Mother’s life would have been if she not only gave advice but also received it from her children.

A STELLAR STEPDAD

Recently one of my close friends got remarried for the second time. She met a man of God and they have a wonderful relationship.

She has two sons who are about to be teenagers. They love their mother and they love their stepdad too.

I think it must be very difficult to be a stepparent. It is hard to be something which is not yours to be by nature.

When I talk to her about her marriage she raves about how her new husband handles the boys. One instance which she told me about struck me as being very wise and worthy of sharing with my readers. So here it is…

She had worked a long day and was late in coming home but had prepared dinner for her two sons. The sons did not like what she had prepared so they called their natural dad and claimed that she was not feeding them. He is a good guy so he went and bought them some chicken from Chicken Express.

When she got home she was furious because her two sons had lied to their dad and he had fallen for it.

Her new husband got on the phone and talked to the biological dad stating that the sons had disrespected their Mom and that they needed to come clean. Then he made them get on the phone and fess up to their lying, admitting that they had disrespected the mother and that she had actually prepared food for them.

That just struck me as being so cool. I used to think it was great for my boyfriends to be friends with my kids. Problem is, if they are too intent on being friends with my children, they will never have the guts to stand up for me.

I have had this happen in the past where one of my children has demolished me with words in front of a boyfriend and he did absolutely nothing to squash the disrespect.

I personally don’t need any boyfriend to be a friend to my children. They are all very popular and have more than enough friends. What I do need is someone who will have my back and demand respect from my children for me.

That doesn’t mean you loose your cool and scream at them or abuse them. It can be done without either of those things happening but if you don’t demand respect for someone you say you love, then how can you say you love them in the first place?

MY THANKSGIVING

I had a wonderful Thanksgiving. It was beyond lovely in so many ways. I had begun preparing the meal a few days ago by making my sweet potato casserole. I had also made my praline apple bread and two pies, so today I only had to cook the turkey and make the mash potatoes as well as the asparagus with homemade Hollandaise sauce. Should have been a piece of cake.

I was getting a bit stressed though. It was already 10:30 am and my daughter’s boyfriend was to arrive at 11:30. They had to eat and run because they had another family dinner to attend with his family.

My daughter came down from upstairs and told me that I needed to clean up the living room. I told her I was cooking to get everything ready. She took it upon herself to clean for me and did she ever do a great job. She even got my son to help out a bit with the cleaning.

Then while she was upstairs getting ready my son set the table and he also carved the turkey. Their helpful nature made it so much more fun for all of us.

My daughter’s boyfriend is a gem and made quite a fuss over my dishes. It was the first time I had hosted him at my house for a meal and I was a bit nervous. He immediately put me at ease with his kind words.

I love having holiday meals with my family. I don’t think I ever remember enjoying a meal as much as I did the one today. It was grand. I think it was because I spent so much time in prayer over the day. I know my daughter loves her boyfriend and I wanted her to be proud of the hosting job I did. I think I may have accomplished my goal but I couldn’t have done it without the help of my family and the most important member of my family; my sweet and wonderful heavenly Father.

THE RIGHT TO PROTEST

I get the fact that a lot of people are angry with the decision that was handed down by the grand jury in Ferguson, Kansas. I understand the feeling that justice is elusive and nonexistent in American courts. I have been involved in protests in the past. What I don’t get is sure selfishness and stupidity when asserting your first amendment rights in a protest.

So since no one is setting rules for these protests I have taken it upon myself to set some rules.

1. You have a right to state your opinion and to protest. What you don’t have a right to do is set businesses on fire. In my opinion if you do this your sentence should be to rebuild the business and repay any loss that these businesses have sustained.

2. You have a right to share you anger but you do not have a right to loot and steal from businesses which are supporting your community.

3. You have a right to march and protest in public but if you endanger or inconvenience anyone else that right stops and you get your outspoken opinion, along with your body, put in a jail cell.

4. You do not have a right to antagonize or harass the police officers who are trying to keep you from being an idiot. They are people just like you are and they deserve respect.

5. You do not have a right to irritate someone by stopping a freeway because there may be an emergency vehicle with a black baby on that freeway that is trying desperately to get to the hospital. (Do you hear me, Dallas?)

At first I was concerned that the protests would be peaceful and was praying that no one would get hurt. Then I happened to turn on the local news and I saw several hundred stupid people in Dallas blocking a major freeway in protest. I stopped praying and got very angry.

I had just driven through Dallas last night and it took me a hell of a long time because of wrecks. If I had been driving through it tonight, I would have been beyond pissed if I had to wait for an hour or two because of protests.

Before writing this blog post I searched to see what my community had done for protests. We had six protesters and it was led by a white lady. They were peaceful and caused no one any harm. That is why I live in Fort Worth and hate Dallas. We just got so much more class. (Exception being the family court judges and lawyers. They have no class and don’t even know how to spell the word.)

SOMEONE’S SON

I was scanning my CNN report while waiting for lunch today and I read the news that another black boy had been shot by police. It saddened me but it didn’t really affect me until a memory came back of my youngest son.

The boy who died was twelve years old.

My son was 12 years old when he was picked up by the police.

This boy was playing with a gun.

My son had a birthday party and some of his friends stayed overnight. I didn’t know that my son and one of his friends had slipped out into the dark of night carrying nerf guns which looked like pistols in the dark.

Someone called the police on the boy who was in Cleveland.

A neighbor called the police when they saw my son and his friend lurking around the houses with what appeared to be guns.

The sweet child in Cleveland did not threaten the police with his gun.

My son didn’t either. The police officer picked him and his friend up and took them back to my house. I was furious with my son for being so stupid and I immediately threw those guns in the trash, stating emphatically that he would never get another one.

The parents of the child in Cleveland did not get the chance to discipline their boy. His life was taken by the police officers.

My son started college this semester.

Those parents will never see their son enter college.

I felt immense grief for the Cleveland family when I realized that what happened to the child in Cleveland could have happened to my son just as easily. The only difference was the cop.

I am thankful to God for the self control the police officer had when he picked up my son. There was one other thing that I remember about this cop. He was black and obviously a lot more qualified to be a cop than some white cops are.

Please pray for the family in Cleveland and also Michael Brown’s family in Ferguson, Kansas. My heart is broken for them.


TRAINING IN LIFE

I have mentioned in previous posts the girl I am training at work. Love the girl. She is a ton of fun and an awesome nurse and we have become very close over the last month or so.

The other night she brought up a suggestion which threw me for a loop. She prefaced it saying, “I am a Christian and you know, I am all about making money.”

The red flags started waving at that point. Being a Christian should never be about making money. If I am not mistaken, it should be all about saving lost souls which hasn’t a blooming thing to do with making money.

Then she said, “I think we should start a nursing blog with you as the expert and me as the newbie and charge people money to read it.” I almost bust at laughing at this point for several reasons. First off, I am certainly no expert in my field. The only reason I have done so well with my current company is because, for some reason, I have the favor of God at this company.

Second reason I almost died laughing, is that not many people who are actual bloggers make much money at it. If I had made money at blogging do you really think I would have returned to nursing?

She was all fired up and I did not want to pop her balloon of delusion so I just told her I would pray about it. And pray about it is what I did.

This is one of the few times that I could tell the Holy Spirit was angry. I have called this girl daily giving her training on a continual basis with no extra pay from the company. I enjoy her, so I don’t really mind, but it seemed a bit selfish from my perspective for her to want to charge others for what she has gotten for free.

I also know that those who blog and make millions are a different kind of blogger than I am. I have tried to pull in some extra cash by doing affiliate advertising and even put a donation button on my blog but the cash flow hasn’t been much.

I do appreciate those of you who have ordered from my blog but I don’t expect you to only order from my blog, nor do I expect you to order so much that I can pay my mortgage. I am certainly not going to start charging people for reading my blog. When I publish my novel that will be an entirely different story. You will not get that for free.

This is the second time that someone has approached me with an idea of change for my blog. The first time was a guy who wanted to sell his social media ideas through my blog. I told him at best I would write a promo post for his ideas but he was NOT going to kidnap my readers for his new fangled idea. Neither is my trainee going to turn my blog into something which suits her purposes because she is stressed out at work.

The only one I give administrator rights to on this blog is God. I pray and meditate on what I think He wants me to write and then I write it.

Although I was shocked when she approached me with her proposition, after reflection, I realized she knew nothing about blogging so to condemn her for her lack of knowledge would be wrong for me to do. Besides, she is one of the best nurses I have run across in my entire career and to sway her from a career path which is perfect for her, would not be in either of our best interests.

So if she brings this up again I will politely decline her request and continue to give her the support she needs to be a rock star in the awesome company I work for.

LOVING WITH AN OPEN EMBRACE

How come so many times when you love someone you feel as if you are in a cage? Wouldn’t it be nice to find someone who could love you with an open embrace like God loves us?

I have a wonderful situation in my life. I have a sweet man who I care for very much and he has said that he cares for me also.

He respects my values and although we are attracted to each other sexually we have not engaged in premarital sex.

We have known each other for close to a year and seem to be dancing in and out of each other’s life. He needed to walk away from the relationship for three months and during that time I started dating a former boyfriend. He also started dating someone else. We kept in touch though because we both still cared for each other.

His relationship ended fairly soon. I was glad, that woman would have made him miserable. My relationship ended after six months. I am thankful for the time I spent trying to make that ex-boyfriend happy. I am more grateful that I realized that the things which I would have had to do to make my ex happy were the very things which made me miserable. It took a lot of prayer to walk away for the second time but I know that it was the right thing to do.

I found that the relationship with this sweet man was vexing me somewhat. He did not call me every night. (Which used to drive me crazy when my ex boyfriend did that.) He did not demand to know what I was doing every spare minute. (If my ex did not know what I was doing he always accused me of cheating on him.) He did not ask me out a lot. (But when he did ask me out we always had a good time.)

I prayed and thought about this a lot and realized that I needed to qualify the relationship with this man. I needed to know what my boundaries were. So we had “the talk.”

We agreed to date but not to be committed. We were not married and we were not going to act as if we were. We were both free to date others but we would still date each other when the desire arose.

It is a bit scary to be in a relationship such as this but it is also a walk of faith. For if I am to be with this man I know it is God and not under his or my control. I believe the reason why this works for us is because we have not become sexually intimate. In other words we have not acted like we are married when we are not married. It makes more sense to me than any other relationship I have had since my divorce.

STRESS

I have become a bit overwhelmed lately. I have had two new responsibilities added to me at work. Don’t get me wrong, they are a blessing, but I have become angry and stressed lately. The other day I looked up the word, stress, in the dictionary and was horrified to find my anxiety ridden face right beside the word.

So what has happened at work? I got “blessed.”

The first blessing that was given to me was when my company asked me to be a preceptor. That is a wonderful compliment and I was thrilled to do it. My first trainee has been a gem and I love her like a best friend.

I may have taken this preceptor thing a bit too far though. I call my trainee every night to see how she is doing. She calls me frequently too. I probably won’t do this with every nurse I train but I really love this girl and I want her to be successful.

Then very soon after being asked to be a preceptor, I was given the blessing of working out of three new facilities. In the arena of home health working in a facility is a dream job.

I have just one problem. The company has not decreased my former responsibility. I still do visits out in the community and that takes so much time in driving that I am not able to build the facilities up like I want to.

So how have I handled this? I must admit I have done a horrible job of handling this. I have bitched and complained and my joy has evaporated.

I have not felt the presence of God like I did when I first started this job. Why did He retreat? Was it because the blessings that I was given pushed Him plum off of my overflowing plate? I don’t think so. I am constantly in prayer and He knows that I love Him. I think it was because instead of being thankful for the added blessings and challenges I have become ungrateful and a complaining wench. I failed to realize that they couldn’t have added these new responsibilities to my plate without it sifting through His loving hands first.

He knows what I can do and he knows how competent I am. He is the one who makes every day a day worth living. He knows each and every patient I am to see and He has given me the privilege of serving them.

I have been so busy complaining, that I have failed to talk with Him about my desire to build the facilities up in census. I have not told Him how frustrated I am that I have been too busy to meet the manager of two of the facilities. I have not asked Him to help me make up a list of criteria for home health admissions which I can give to the marketing director for the managers in the facilities.

I have talked to everyone else about how stressed I am, failing to mention it to Him. I have not told him how much I hate driving clear across town for one patient when I could be seeing five patients in that amount of time in the facilities.

What a fool I have become.

God was on this though, like a bee on honey. He showed me in the Bible the verse in Philippians 2:14, “Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.”

This does not mean that I can not express my desire to work mainly out of the facilities. It makes sense for me to build those facilities up. It would mean a financial gain for me but it would be a gold mine for the company. What it does mean is that I state my case with concise and logical thought process behind it and that I don’t do it in a state of anxiety or fear.

What if my company doesn’t listen?

Then I just pray harder and wait patiently because I know “He only wants to prosper me and not to harm me.”

FINDING MY SOUL MATE

I was at a patient’s house the other day. One thing was very apparent after talking to him for a few minutes. He adored his wife. He said it was the second marriage for both of them and his face lit up when he mentioned her name. He said that he could be thinking something and she would say exactly what he was thinking before he could speak it. It was obvious that they were soul mates.

“Wow,” I thought. “This gives me hope that I may be able to find my soul mate.”

Last night as I was driving my sweet and wonderful son home from college, he fell asleep beside me in the car. Since I couldn’t chat with him I started thinking about God. I began to reflect upon my relationship with Him.

It used to be that He would talk to me. Whenever I have heard the voice of God it stops me in my tracks and leaves me breathless. It is amazing to me how His voice of truth always cuts to the core of any situation, stripping off the deceit and subterfuge to get down to the root of any problem.

Over the past few years He has changed His method of conversation with me. He does not speak to me that much. I miss hearing His voice but as I meditated on our relationship I realized we had gone beyond that point. As I hunger and thirst for righteousness, I feel Him communicating in a different way. He is now in my thoughts.

How do I know it is a God thought?

It is a thought that comes from a different place, not one which would originate with me. It is a place where all things are good and no harm is intended for me or others. God thoughts build trust and love in all situations. They prompt me to intercede for others. They have the ability to lead me into prayer for healing of others. They also have the ability to stop a tornado within the span of a minute. They are beyond all other thoughts the most powerful force in the universe.

As I continued to reflect on my intimacy with God I realized that I already have a soul mate. My soul mate is God. When you can’t figure out just where you begin and God ends in your life. When you not only speak and hear His word, but think His thoughts you have found a love which is deeper and more powerful than any other.